Giannis Antetokounmpo ended his press convention Sunday by lifting the Kobe Bryant All-Star MVP trophy over his head and saying with a mock-shouting tone: “Milwaukee, that is for you!!!” He broke into laughter, eliminated his headphones and informed somebody off digicam, “I used to be supposed to try this.” Nonetheless smiling large, he once more lifted the trophy and exclaimed: “Milwaukee, that is for you!”
That is the Bucks’ dream.
Antetokounmpo can get pleasure from taking part in on a tremendous workforce. However he can restrict that have the All-Star recreation. His loyalty, as confirmed by his super-max extension, stays with Milwaukee.
And his ardour – as proven by scoring 35 factors on 16-of-16 capturing in main Staff LeBron to victory – stays robust.
At this level in his profession, Antetokounmpo is coming underneath the microscope. Signing his extension quieted some noise, however not almost all of it. Antetokounmpo has received the final two regular-season MVPs, main the Bucks to 60 wins two years in the past and a fair higher document final season. However the Bucks have faltered the final two postseasons. They dropped 4 straight to the Raptors within the 2019 Jap Convention finals then obtained smoked by the Warmth in final 12 months’s second spherical.
Pretty or not, Antetokounmpo now can silence his critics solely by succeeding within the playoffs.
Towards that backdrop, who’d care about an All-Star recreation – particularly amid the coronavirus pandemic? Since NBA playoff video games stopped being aired on tape-delay, just one different participant had received regular-season MVP then All-Star MVP with out first successful a championship – Allen Iverson.
However Antetokounmpo isn’t permitting himself to be haunted by prior disappointments. As soon as on the courtroom – just like the earlier two All-Star video games – his competitiveness and spirit took over.
Antetokounmpo’s 16 photographs are the second-most ever in a recreation – regular-season, playoff or All-Star – by somebody who didn’t miss:
All the opposite perfect-shooting video games on the leaderboard got here within the common season. Antetokounmpo doubled the prior All-Star document. 76ers guard Hal Greer shot 8-for-8 in 1968.
Positive, luck was concerned. Along with his ferocious dunks, Antetokounmpo made all three of his 3-pointers – together with banking in a pair.
However even a miss wouldn’t have modified the tenor of Antetokounmpo’s efficiency. He was taking part in nice and having a blast.
Antetokounmpo has confirmed his work ethic and willpower. He’s clearly centered extra on workforce success than particular person accolades. We must always respect his dazzling exhibiting Sunday. It detracts from nothing.
Whilst he cradled the All-Star MVP trophy – named for Bryant, whom Antetokounmpo idolized – the Bucks ahead saved perspective.
“My aim is to be a champion at some point,” Antetokounmpo stated. “Hopefully, we will maintain the large trophy.”
Giannis Antetokounmpo exhibits worth and values with All-Star MVP initially appeared on NBCSports.com